Current tensions between the European Union and Poland highlight how nations form through identity associations, whether political, cultural, or as an ‘expression of a daily solidarity’ to use Ernest Renan’s phrase. This paper examines the Polish government’s influence on socio-cultural factors in mobilizing support for — or against — nationalist ideology. My analysis will focus on the Polish Opera house, which as a national cultural institution functions as a space for national ideology production. The paper examines national artistic programming in opera to frame an analysis of identity construction by the Polish government from the Soviet period to the present day. The paper will survey the Polish Opera’s programming in four periods — 1965-1981, 1981-1991, 1991-2004, 2004-2018 — covering different phases of Polish politics in the past seven decades.The analysis attempts to provide answers to the following research questions: How can an opera house produce political messages received by a domestic and international audience? What power does the opera house have over its own repertoire? Can freedom of speech exist on a national stage given political realities? The analysis found a correlation between operatic programming relating to Polish national identity as Poland’s political regime changed over the period studied. The paper concludes that opera is an expression of national identity, which, like all forms of art, cannot be created in a vacuum and is subject to the political climate of its time.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 82/8(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Political science, Music, European history|
|Keywords:||Culture, Nationalist ideology, Opera, Poland, Soviet period|
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